Ministerial press release, Friday, 26 July 2013.
Minister for Manufacturing David Hodgett today formally launched the $24.9 million Victorian Centre for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing (VCSCM) at DuluxGroup in Clayton, outlining the Centre’s initial projects to take advantage of the collaborative approach to sustainable manufacturing.
Speaking at the formal opening, Mr Hodgett said the VCSCM is a collaboration between government, research and industry, and enables demand driven industrial research leading to the implementation of clean and green manufacturing.
“Through the Victorian Coalition Government’s investment of $5.85 million over three years, this initiative fosters demand driven collaborative innovation and promotes clean and green manufacturing processes,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The centre represents a model for how demand-driven innovation can work, with good quality science being applied to real world problems leading to real world benefits.
“We are already seeing the first collaborative projects using the Centre’s collaborative model.
In one of the projects, the VCSCM is working with Australian industry, including SMEs, to develop high value nutraceutical products derived from plant sources.
These new separation technologies will enable more sustainable production of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, as well as new approaches to the optimisation of chemical manufacturing based on green chemical principles.
Additionally, the VCSCM is working with Australian SMEs to develop novel manufacturing processes that employ low cost, small footprint facilities to enable these SMEs to effectively compete on the world stage.
VCSCM is a collaboration that brings together the Environmental Protection Authority Victoria, the Plastics and Chemical Industry Association, CSIRO and Monash University, and is supported by the Victorian Coalition Government.
The contributions to the consortium total $24.9 million. The consortium has been established to help the chemical, industrial, food and food ingredient companies become more competitive by adopting green chemistry and chemical engineering processes right through their entire supply chain.
The VCSCM will assist this translation by collaborative projects as well as an integrated education program.
By adopting sustainable manufacturing solutions to improve products and processes, companies will be able to compete and grow within the current, challenging national and international economic environment.
Mr Hodgett said this new collaboration will allow companies to be able to better obtain knowledge, training and solutions to improve the sustainability of their businesses.
“From this broader perspective, there can be opportunities for business improvement through the application of “green” principles in all manufacturing companies, not just clean technology companies,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The centre will increase awareness of the benefits of adopting sustainable manufacturing practices within the industry, demonstrating the unique research platforms of Monash University and CSIRO.”
Professor Milton Hearn, Director of the VCSCM said the establishment of the Centre provides a key platform to further assist industry with the development of more sustainable manufacturing processes and innovative products across the whole value chain.
“This strong support from the Victorian Government will enable the deployment of green and more efficient technologies, as well as improving workforce skills. These initiatives will give industry an additional competitive advantage, both nationally and internationally as they implement sustainable solutions into their businesses,” Professor Hearn said.